Storytelling at Repton Manor Primary School
At Repton Manor Primary School, we are proud to be a ‘Storytelling School’. We ignite children’s curiosity through exploration of images, text, film and poetry. We fully embrace creative approaches to reciting text through performance, putting the developments of oral communication skills at the heart of our strategies to teach Writing across the school. Inspirational ideas are channelled through our teaching and learning opportunities, empowering children to become successful authors and storytellers of a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres. Join us on our storytelling journey as we meander, skip, explore and glide our way to feeling proud of what we have achieved.
Storytelling: What is it like?
Those of you who know Pie Corbett’s Talk for Writing programme will be familiar with its key messages and themes. You will have heard of practices such as ‘oral retelling’, ‘imitating’ and ‘innovating’ which teaches young children how to take a known story and gradually insert new ideas and compose new expressions.
Storytelling uses some of these key ideas too, but there are aspects of the programme that will feel new and exciting. It is important to point out also that children engage with poetry and non-fiction texts of all kinds too – it isn’t just about narrative!
Children of all ages across the school become confident and adept at retelling and performing ‘stories’ aloud, to an audience. To become accredited as a ‘Storytelling’ school, one of the criteria was that film clips should evidence that children from every year group are able to do this. Penny Bill, IA for Literacy KCC, noted the extraordinary confidence shown by children of all ages to tell stories aloud, without a text or prompt of any kind. As part of the preparatory process for storytelling, children become wonderful story map creators, detailing a vast range of text types in pictorial form, allowing a visual aid for the independent re-telling of a text.
There are a host of other strategies and techniques which are included in this pedagogical approach. These might include, for example:
Poems and pictures
Paintings of key moments
Interviews with the main character
Telling at home
Creating a rap
Making a story exhibit
Creating a story song
Re-enactments involving the whole class, sitting in a circle.
What does storytelling look like in EYFS at Repton Manor Primary School?
In Reception, we begin the school year by playing alongside the children and informally teaching Writing through children's play. Every area of their environment includes places for them to ‘mark make’ to develop early writing. Regularly changing activities allow for us to harness the interests of the children and tailor provision to suit their developmental needs. Children in EYFS are exposed to a variety of stories through daily story time, which encourages them to participate in their own group and independent storytelling. They create story maps together, with many children re-telling the class story through their very own drawn story maps. Children make really good use of story sacks to enhance their re-telling and often engage in the role-play activities. We encourage children to write in as many forms as we can; giving focus to the development of their fine motor skills through a range of multi-sensory activities.
What does storytelling look like in KS1 and KS2 at Repton Manor Primary School?
Throughout KS1 and KS2 the children learn the process of writing using the Storytelling method. Children become adept at re-telling stories and other text types to an audience and at unpicking the features of these text types. Story maps are drawn to cement the structure and content of the text. The writing that children complete is given a purpose and where possible, linked to the curriculum learning. This ensures children can apply knowledge obtained to a range of writing genres. The children move onto deepening activities to support their subject knowledge and text type awareness. These might include, for example:
Poems and pictures
Paintings of key events
Story stage (acting out the story)
Once the text type and content has been explored, children can begin the writing process. This will be modelled by the teacher and shared writing will enable children to suggest ideas and make editions to the class piece. When the piece of writing is complete, the editing and publishing process begins. When children move onto publishing their piece of writing, this is done in a variety of creative ways and focuses on them using their best handwriting and creative thinking.
Environments at Repton Manor Primary School are rich with language, vocabulary and inspirational displays. Working walls are used throughout the teaching sequence to ensure children are engaged with the writing process, with teachers modelling the creation of story maps and shared writing. Children and teachers interact with the display, using it to inform, record, develop and celebrate writing. Our Rainbow Room showcases examples from every year group and is regularly updated to show the whole school what wonderful learning is happening in each year group.
Assessment in Writing:
Assessment of writing takes place in many different forms. Pupils’ learning is assessed daily in lessons through teacher observations, conversations with pupils and through looking at the completed learning. Pupils also assess their own learning using their targets and by evaluating their understanding during the lesson. Peer and group assessment is another method used within our lessons. Teachers use this assessment to inform the planning of the following lessons, to ensure that all pupils are supported and challenged in their learning.
As well as assessing the children’s writing during our Storytelling and Topic lessons, we plan an invention piece for the children to really show off what they have learnt. This, along with teacher assessment, forms our summative assessment for Writing, which enables us to ensure that pupils are making good progress, identify the next steps and areas of need for individual pupils and address this through our future planning and/or through any interventions that are needed.
To find out more about Writing at Repton Manor Primary School, please contact our Writing Leader, Jen Farmer.
Curriculum Group: Communication and Language
A child took a stroll through the Repton Manor wood, the child saw a book and the book looked good.
The child read the book and met:
- An owl who developed the child’s voice and communication.
- A snake who inspired a joy of language and literature.
- A fox who taught the child to be bold, brave and free.